Thursday, 1 May 2008

When Ciggies Make Daphne Wheezy...


Ok...


I have a confession to make...I am highly allergic to cigarette smoke...

It is not something I usually go blowing to every person I meet, simply because I don't want to insult the person who is smoking, or forcing him/her to 'bow to my demands' just because I don't smoke...



I have always suspected I had a problem with cigarette smoke, but since I seem to be living in a world where I have perpetual allergic attacks (CT scan even showed chronic swelling of the tissues), I couldn't confirm 100%...

My doctors have given up, and they started me on this new drug daily, the very expensive Singulair, that comes at about RM 5 a tablet...They also started me on the nasal-spray Nasonex to help me breathe at night...

And about 2 weeks ago, I fell smack in the middle of some heavy cigarette smoke, and till today, my nose is clogged, my eyes are swollen, and my head is heavy...



The minute I caught the allergy coming, I used the more powerful nasal-spray 'Afrin', the drug that the doctor said specifically to use 'only when acute', because it is powerful and too-much of it can cause problems...But it was clear it was not powerful enough, because the drug only aided my breathing for about 2 hours (this in spite of me taking Actifed and Sudafed)...


Thank God the nose hasn't started bleeding yet...




Gosh! Does anybody know what else can be done? Anybody with a similar allergy?

Help! I can't sleep properly at night lar...So I am a little grumpy...


*Hrmph*



34 comments:

WP said...

Oh, you poor thing...that's a difficult allergy to have!

I hate cigarette smoke but at least I'm not allergic...

Jo-D said...

Hullo Daph, you poor thing. My sister has the same problem and she used to tell everybody who smokes in front of her to trhow their cigarete away because she cannot tolerate it.

Raden Galoh said...

I pun don't like cigarette smoke, Daph... I rasa mcm nak choke je selalu...

Poor you...hope you are feeling okay by now...taknaklah jumpa you with your eyes swollen kan?

take care dear.
*hugs*

Pi Bani said...

Daph,
I think next time you got to gantung a sign on you which says "I'M HIGHLY ALLERGIC TO CIGARETTE SMOKE" lah.

Susahlah kalau highly allergic but trying to be polite at the same time.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

err...smoking kills.

Zawi said...

Daph,
I am allergic not only to ciggy smoke but to all form of dusts. Once I start sneezing I can never stop.
During my last year of my service I had to work in an office where the number of smokers outnumber the non smokers and the ladies who didn't smoke seems not to mind at all. Often I had to pretend to go and work in another department where the non smoking rule was adhered. It was a relief which I highly enjoyed.
Being an ex smoker myself, I know how selfish some smokers are. There are considerate smokers to who will go out of the room to smoke but some happily smoke away even in an enclosed airconditioned room.
Sorry I don't have any antidote to this allergy myself. All I do is escape from the scene.

~Hui Ying~ said...

I get allergic attacks all year round...and always got caught unaware....Singulair is good...i have been taking it since my last hospital admission in January...n er Nasonex doesn't work on me anymore...it was my first nasal spray..n then proceeded to Flixonase...before the second bottle finished...doc decided to go stronger with Rhinocort...which is very potent..not to b used daily..n maximum of two weeks at any one time.arghhh....according to docs, dats the bad thing about steroids..u havta go a level higher each time the lower one fails...n ohh i take XYZal (antihistamine) which is quite gud...but expensive...the hospital charged me Singulair at RM 6.15 per tab! n XYZal at Rm 1.89...ohh n to ease ur nasal congestion..try irrigate ur nose with Sinomarin hypertonic solution...it works wonders...ever since i got it in January..prescribed by the ENT surgeon...it has been really helpful....n basically i have done an allergy test (tested positive for dusts, house dust mites and cockroach)..i noe it sucks...those hospital stays..with nebulizer round the clock..CT scan, chest xray, paranasal(skull) xray...so all the best to u....erm seriously, you should try Sinomarin (NO medicine in it)..just a solution to irrigate ur nose...

ps. actifed sucks when you have something important to do...coz hah hah...the next five minutes...its time to say gudnite! lol...but its strong enough to stop all those nonsense...

J.T. said...

Hi Daphne

I understand it is difficult because sometimes you enjoy some people's company and they are the ones who also enjoy smoking. I do not know any remedy for you except what Zawi suggested - "escape the scene". Remember, prevention is better than cure. :)

zewt said...

the world should just ban smoking. but that will send a lot of ppl out of jobs... sigh...

if you cant stop them.... then just walk away.

Daphne Ling said...

Hey WP,

Yeah lor...Of all things to be allergic to...You can't exactly stop the ciggy smoke from being in the air, right? But then again, at least I am not allergic to stuff like chocolate! ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Jo-D,

Ah...So I'm not the only weirdo around! ;)

Oh well, if I am close to that person, I will let them know if they smoke...But then again, if they're older than you, I feel soooo rude...=(

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Dalilah,

You oso tak tahan ah? I thought I was the only 'princess' the other day...;)

Today my eyes are a little better already...After seeing the doctor yesterday...Couldn't tahan anymore lar...Mata cannot buka properly and so horribly itchy and painful adi!

Looking forward to seeing you! *Hugs*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

Haha! Trust you to come up with ingenious ideas like that...Cannot lar...It's like trying to be insulting to the people who smoke...=(

As for being polite, somebody else said the same thing while I was coughing away...She told me I didn't have to be so polite! =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Kerp,

Ar...Tahu, tak pe! Jaga-jaga you...See you tomorrow! And take your medication, Aunty Molly says!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Pak Zawi,

So you mean you developed an allergy to something after using it for a while? I hope that never happens to me...

I do a lot of escaping too nowadays...Either escape to toilet, or escape to outside, or in college, when the guards start, I just give up and go and close the main entrance door...

Sometimes I do get very annoyed because there is a no-smoking sign at the guard station and yet, they smoke away! *Grrr*

Anyway, nowadays, there are so many people smoking that those who smoke just automatically assume people around them are ok with it...

You should see how my family and I run in circles when we're having dinner and the next table starts to smoke (or while we look for tables)!

People think we're being holier-than-thou, but what to do? I cannot tahan ma...My other family members will cough and all, but my whole URT (upper respiratory tract) will 'die'! =(

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Hui Ying,

Hey! Thanks for coming by...So we both have the same problem! You know, my doctor said that 80% of people outgrow their allergies by puberty, while another 10% outgrow them by the age of 18...

Only 10% (looks like we're inside there!) never seem to outgrow them =(...

I take a mixture of Singulair (Don't buy in the hospital! It is much more expensive), Actifed, Sudafed, Clarytine/Claritin, Clarinase, Zyrtec, and Piriton...That's as much as I can remember...

As for nasal sprays, I try not to overdo them (can cause rebound congestion), I think maybe I should start getting a purely saline one just to irrigate the nose (Thanks for the suggestion on Sinomarin)...

Yeah, it sucks, you're right...But at least we're not alone! As for Actifed, yeap, it does cause drowsiness, although after the first dose, the next day (as in the second day I take it), I don't get drowsy anymore! ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi JT,

How right you are...Guess you understood what made me feel all guilty, huh?

But yeah, I enjoyed the company (and felt it was rude to say something) and they enjoyed smoking...

But yes, agreed, prevention is better than cure lor...=(

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Zewt,

Ban smoking? The more you ban, the more people will wanna do lar...

And yeah, alot of people will be outta a job, and alot of money in the economy will be gone...

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

fine, i'll stay far far away from you when i need to have my fix.

Ydiana said...

Dear Daphne
I was just browsing when I come across your blog. Kinda interesting.

Sorry that you have this allergy on cigarette smoke, and it sound quite serious.

If I may advise that you must take anti-oxidant supplements, instead of just medicines, if you haven't already. If you can get a hold of a book "What your doctor doesn't know about supplement may ... you.." by Dr Ray Strand. Available at any leading book store.

Taking anti oxidant supplements like A,C and E, among others, may help strenthen your immune system and also act as anti-aging towards dieseases.

Take care!

~Hui Ying~ said...

hi ther...haha...same la...from piriton, clarinase, clarityne, zyrtec, actifed to now, xyzal...i dunno how many tabs of antihistamines have been digested by me...haha....i think the nasal spray dat causes rebound congestion is decongestant...not steroid spray rite??steroid sprays don't cause rebound congestion...n nasonex definitely doesn't...its meant for everyday use...n erm...apparently one nurse or i cudn't rber whu said dat nasal spray (nasonex) shud be used everyday at the same time....to create a therapeutic level...or smth lik dat....but nah...nowadays i only live with singulair n xyzal..and occasionaly Iliadin (decongestant) and Rhinocort...well...about the outgrowing allergies thing...apparently mine only became troublesome when i was 16+...i was very healthy all through my childhood....doctor suspected stress to be the cause...but anyways...do try Sinomarin and let me know how it goes...coz its the only thing dat makes me feel better thus far....but RM 27+ for one bottle of sea water...is ermm..haha...wat the doc (not the ENT guy) says as "if u dun mind paying more or u can boil ur own water..n add loads of salt to it and use..." lol.but i opted for it (second bottle) coz its really gud and comparatively healthier...

Wakmasnoor said...

Emm...sorry Daph for that allergy of yours.

What bother most is the lack of respect these smokers had on others. They puff and huff as and when they feel like doing. Forget the NO SMOKING signboard la...they wont really bother about that.

Cant help elaborating much on the medicine and physician aspects...cos im not an expert. But one thing i can do to help you Daph, is to make sure im not holding (smoking) cigarette while surfing your blog. Thats the least i can do la...cos im a smoker (not the avid type la...).

Remember the above bout' the ignorance smokers not bothering others etc, well im not one of them la...of course.

Bye Daph.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried a steroid based nasal spray called RHINOCORT AQUA?

http://www.rhinocortaqua.com/

It clears by my nasal allergy which I have suffered for more than 20 years.

KT

zewt said...

Hey! The results showed that I have nephritis. And the first nephro i went to said i have IGAnephritis. that's the verdic now.

Moon said...

Hi Daphne, I'm a new reader to your blog..I'm sure you've heard of this French product called Lampe Berger..it works for me (the occasional flu and colds). Last week I went to a karaoke session with a bunch of friends (many of whom are heavy smokers), and tested the product. It seemed to eliminate the smoke.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi YDiana,

Hey, thanks for coming by...I take a daily dose of Vitamin E and Evening Primrose Oil, on the recommendation of my gynae...It helps with the PMS-bloating tremedously...

Will look up your suggestion of Vit A and C as well =) Thanks for the suggestion ya?

As for the book, yeah, I've browsed through it before...Heh...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Hui Ying,

Thanks for coming back!

Yeah, the rebound congestion is caused by decongestants with ephedrine in it...

Steroids have their own unique side effect lor...I've never tried steroid-based nasal sprays, but I know that oral steroid-based drugs (like Prednisolone) cause my blood sugar to rise above the normal limit...=(

As for stress ar, mine isn't caused by it, because I've been allergic pratically all my life lar...

When I was a child, used to come home with all kinds of itches and hives, and had to go and get injections very often from the doctor when the hives broke out all over my body...

Thank God that doesn't happen anymore (the hives, that is)...

I'll go give Sinomarin a try...My mum said RM 27 every month or so is much better than spending hundreds of ringgit when I get caught in cigarette smoke (which is unavoidable because I can't live in a bubble)...

Thanks for the suggestion(s) for my nose...Now would you know what to do with the eyes? ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Wak Masnoor,

Thank you for being so considerate! But having friends who smoke, I realise that many cannot control their need to smoke...

So unless you keep bugging them about not smoking, chances are, when the 'urge' comes, they forget everything lar...

Both oso susah, you know? But what to do? I didn't choose to be allergic...=(

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon @ KT,

I didn't tolerate oral steroids very well, since my blood sugar goes higher than normal when I take them, so we try and not give me any other steroid-based products lor (unless topical)...

And nasal-sprays are unfortunately, not topical...

So better not lor...=(

But thanks for the suggestion ya? Appreciate it nonetheless...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Moon,

No, I've not heard of this Lampe Berger thingy (just googled it)...

Where can I get it? =) Sounds pretty cool, from what the web says!

~Hui Ying~ said...

Haha...welcome...im an avid blog reader actually...more than blogging...lol...but erm i tot nasal sprays are topical???so is Rhinocort...n u use Nasonex wat...its steroid-based...isn't it??hmm...yeah if u manage to get it from the pharmacy do let me noe...coz i was wondering which pharmacy stores Sinomarin...n im sure its below RM 27...coz i got it from the hospital's pharmacy >.< HIVES!!!!I HATE IT!!!I GET IT ALL THE TIME...theres still a few more months before i turn 18 *coughs* hopefully i will outgrow my allergies??haha...err...actually i din get any eye symptoms so i hav no idea how to deal wif it....but currently am down wif ear infection...aihh....wif pus....iskk...do take care..erm is there any other means we can chat??lik over in msn or smth?

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Hui Ying,

Yeap, nasonex is steroid-based, but it is mild compared to Rhinocort ma (or so I've been told)...And it's been proven to be very safe...

Again, so I've been told...

So, now, if we add Rhinocort samore...Die lar...

It's not topical, in the sense that you swallow Nasonex/Rhinocort what...It's only topical if you apply it on body surfaces...

I just recovered from an ear infection (otitis media) caused by my allergies...That's what the doctor said anyway...

Go figure...We have so much in common ;)

As for communicating, I will email you...We can yak on MSN or something, and compare our red noses! Haha!

Vin Lim said...

Hi Daphne,
Why don you try this breathing exercise, call Sudarshan Kriya. You can find more information here www.artofliving.org

I strongly believe it will help your allergic problem.

Sincerely wish you a healthy body to continue on with your caring, loving and compassionate activities..

Anonymous said...

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